Friday, April 9, 2010

Tangled Up In Plot Knots and My Famous Procrastinating Techniques

Have you ever noticed how tasks you usually loathe doing, suddenly become rather appealing when there is something you really, REALLY don't want to do?

I'm in Revision Hell, friends, and I am employing every Procrastinating Technique in my vast arsenal to avoid what I know amounts to ripping out about 10-15,000 words and rewriting it.

Not so bad, right?
I can knock out 10,000 words in a day or two if I need to.


To do so will mean I have to do more (boring) research about privacy acts, technology, and the Patriot Act to make sure everything is accurate. 

This novel is a fast paced thriller, but, the research for it is
dry, acronym laden, worse than a root canal. 

Plus, you know when you change something, you have to go back through the entire manuscript AGAIN and see the damage ripple effect it has on everything else, and make those changes.

Devil, details... HELL.

Yeah, so I've been Avoiding.

For example, I made a real dinner last night complete with homemade mashed potatoes (granted, the gravy still came from a jar, and the cranberry sauce came from a can, but still...). For that to happen I even had to grocery shop. Hate grocery shopping. It's evil. 

This morning, cleaning the tracks to the sliding doors (the shower, the back door) felt critically important, so I did a most thorough job. 

 Mt. Washmore is gone; washed and dried and even put way.

The junk drawer is apparently in crisis, it's calling my name, even as I type this.

So, it's like being on a diet and working out living a healthy lifestyle.
We know what we have to do, and how to do it.
We just don't wanna.
(Mmmm, I haven't had my breakfast dessert yet. I'll get on that as soon as I'm done here.)

So, today, I shall tackle the mess I made, untangle the knot.

I LOVE this song.
I always loved Ben's voice over Ric's.
I was sad when Ben died so young and fast from cancer.

Am I still rambling? Avoiding? Procrastinating? Typing this blog post?

Yeah, fine, fine...

By Monday, I hope to report that my revision is complete-ish.

Lola out.

Happy weekend!

PS--Don't forget to enter my Wolfpack Contest (below)!!


Stephanie Thornton said...

Hmmm... Breakfast dessert? What a great idea!

I just decided yesterday that I need to rewrite my first two chapters. That's scary. Very, very scary.

Such is the life of a writer.

Aubrie said...

I hate grocery shopping, too! At least I'm not the only one. But it is good for procrastinating on those evil edits!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I don't mind editing. It's the freakin' synopsis writing I loathe. YUCK.

Happy procrastinating! :)

Talli Roland said...

Haha! I can totally relate!

Whenever I'm revising, suddenly I just need to clean to the kitchen floor. This is the kitchen floor that is hell on earth to clean, because it must be scrubbed on hands and knees. Still, it has to be done whenever I'm faced with a hard writing task.

Our kitchen floor is very, very clean.

Good luck Lola! :)

Meika said...

Good luck! I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one guilty of procrastinating! I just wish my methods were as useful. I definitely don't clean my house while procrastinating! *Envious*!!

Summer said...

Haha! I just spent the morning vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, doing dishes, LAUNDRY (horrors), and I even made a long, complicated breakfast for myself...

But for a different reason. Because I have REAL WORK I need to do today, and if I don't get all those chores out of the way first?

You guessed it.

Procrastination time! :-)

Good luck motivating yourself! And enjoy the weekend ahead. :-)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I'm lucky - my hubby does all the cooking and grocery shopping. Don't hate me. :-)

Joanne said...

I vote with Karen, it's the synopsis that does me in! When I've cut out significant wordcount from my work, no matter how tedious, I've always found the work to be so improved afterwards, so it's worth it. Happy revising to you!

Lola Sharp said...

Oh I HATE synopsis too...and titles! Titles are the worst. SO much pressure.

Cynthia Reese said...

Hate, hate, hate grocery shopping, but love this post! The Husband loves it when I'm procrastinating with my writing, because he knows that things around the house will be so much more house-like and so much less bear-in-a-cave-like. :-)

My heart goes out to you! Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt and the fridge magnet to prove it. :-)

Anonymous said...

At least you're productive when you procrastinate! All I do is read Perez Hilton. :)

Good luck pushing through.

TechnoBabe said...

You get alot done when you are procrastinating so it doesn't seem like procrastinating to me, it just seems like a detour through busy errands. What kind of breakfast dessert do you have?

Lola Sharp said...

T-Babe--earlier in the week it was leftover bunny cake. yesterday it was Reece's peanut butter cups. Today, a cupcake. But, the cupcake was breakfast AND breakfast dessert. Usually I have a 'real' breakfast, and THEN breakfast dessert.

Every meal gets dessert.

I'm not sure what lunch dessert will be yet. I need to forage through the (very clean) kitchen.

B. Miller said...

Have a great weekend and don't worry too much about procrastinating! I'm sure you'll get it done. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I might be better at procrastinating than you... Unfortunately, I don't find productive things to do in between.

Piedmont Writer said...

Dearest, I'll trade you, fence posts and dirt digging for research and rewriting.

sarahjayne smythe said...

Enjoy the breakfast desert and the weekend and don't worry about the research and revision. :)

Tara said...

Sometimes I drop by here and worry a little for my sanity. Could I be leading a double blogger life and not know it? Alas, I remind myself that you mentioned your rear is still [somewhat] firm. Clearly it can't be me *sigh*

And, oh so surprisingly, I love that song, too ;)

Have a great weekend.

Terresa said...

This is most hilarious. (I think you would do well writing for SNL, which is high praise, I've loved that show since high school...)

My husband began noting my fine art of procrastination when I was in grad school years back and had a paper due.

I would begin with the baseboards of our small, San Diego apartment, and end with the ceilings. If it were possible, I would've climbed up to the red tiled roof tops to sweep them.

Maybe set a timer for your cleaning antics? And then a nice, chocolatey bribe/book later/movie for being a good girl & sitting down to your editing. Just a thought. :)

Happy weekend!

Matthew Rush said...

Hi Lola, what a cool name for a blog!

I saw that you became a follower of mine so I stopped by to return the favor.

Paul C said...

I always find the rough draft as being the hard part. It's good to go back and fine tune. I have a friend who works over his stories about seven times! The revisions lift his prose above the din.

DL Hammons said...

I never procrastinate! If I have something needing done...I just do it! For instance, I have a chapter to critique by Sunday so I'm going to do that right now!

Hmmmmmmm...I might have mispelled procrastinate. Better google it to make sure.

Yep...spelled it right. But the image results look interesting, let's click on those to get a better look.

Ha ha ha...that poster is funny. When was the last time I used the word mosey. I wonder where that word originated from. Let's Google mosey.

mo·sey (mz)
intr.v. mo·seyed, mo·sey·ing, mo·seys Informal
1. To move in a leisurely, relaxed way; saunter: moseyed over to the club after lunch.
2. To get going; move along.

club after lunch Hmmmmmmm. That phrase just made me hungry for a club sandwich. Maybe I'll make myself a sandwich.


Palindrome said...

I hate grocery shopping too! But yes, I do find many things to do to procrastinate when I should be writing.

chris weigand said...

Hmm sounds so familiar. I will even clean toilets just to put off rewriting.

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh yeah, I'm right there with you. In fact, that's why I'm catching up on blogs instead of writing the next two chapters in our WIP. I write better when I'm completely exhausted anyways. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself...

Laura Marcella said...

I know exactly what you mean! All those household tasks and errands (grocery shopping IS evil!) are the most super duper important things on the planet and must be done RIGHT NOW- but of course I only feel that way when I have particularly nasty revisions hanging over my head. Like right now. I'm writing out the grocery list. That's writing so it counts. I just crossed off "1 pepper" and wrote "1 green and 1 red pepper." See, that's editing. I'm not procrastinating at all.

Good luck this weekend, Lola!

Shelley Sly said...

I am so with you. It's funny, I love writing, but I even find myself procrastinating from something I love, because it's something I KNOW I HAVE to do.

And I'll do things I previously would NOT want to do. Like the dishes. And cleaning the bathrooms. And the cat litter.

It's not that writing is so bad... it's just that I don't want to feel like I have to do it. I guess it's all in the mentality.

Jemi Fraser said...

Happy weekend Lola! You'll have all kinds of free time now that you've accomplished so many tasks!

And.. they sell gravy in a jar? Really? Who knew! Might just have to give that a shot... :)

Shelley Sly said...

Hey dear, just got your comment on my blog. I haven't had problems with a blog roll before, so I'm not sure how to help you (or why my blog, specifically, won't work.) What happens when you try to add me to the blog roll? It gives you an error message about feed? I think there should be some options when you go to edit your blog roll, first by clicking "Add To List" and then an option for blogs you follow. If it's still not working for my blog, let me know. Sorry I'm not much better with technology!

Marla said...


Angie Paxton said...

Lola, I've got a junk drawer in serious need of attention if you're looking for further reasons not to revise :^). I went to a writer's conference where keynote speaker author Brandon Sanderson began his speech with this quote "To write it human, to finish is divine, to revise is hell." That pretty much sums it up for me.

Rachel Elizabeth said...

I am always amazed how much I love cleaning when I have a deadline.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

What is your novel about?! Sounds intriguing.

My husband is a big believer in breakfast dessert. Nice to know he's in good company.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I lost count of how many drafts I went through writing my first manuscript. It seemed never ending. And just when you think you're finished, you realize you haven't done enough. Even still, I feel like I could do more. It's paralyzing, at times. But stop procrastinating, or you'll never get to your twentieth draft. Put down that cleaning rag, and get in there and do it!!

India Drummond said...

I can always tell how much I'm avoiding a project by how clean my fridge is. :)

First time here.. nice to meet you!

Kazzy said...

Sorry about your revisionist hell. Yuck.

Lorel Clayton said...

omg, I know what you're feeling! I'm in revision hell too, and just spent three hours helping my husband mix paints for his art (a yucky, horrible task I usually hate) rather than work on it.

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Haha, I know what you mean! My procrastinations are normally just surfing about the internet, as I'm quite happy o do housework:)

Oh, and I told my boyfriend about breakfast dessert, he wasn't too keen I can tell you:( He said it was, and I quote: Ridiculous. Men, eh?

Lola Sharp said...

B--You have too much faith in me. I aim low. ;o)

Alex-- see the reason I do the productive cleaning, is to ease the guilt. I can almost justify not revising if I'm doing chores, right?

Anne-- no thanks! If that was my sitch, I'd be getting the rewrites done! (maybe I need to put in a fence, so I can finish these revision and let this puppy fl the coop!)

Tara-Twin--back at you. :o)

T--Oh man, cleaning the celling...I haven't gone there...yet!

Matthew/Yoda--Welcome you are.

Paul-- my first drafts are easy and exhilarating. I can pound out 90,000 words, with a strong beginning and end, in a few weeks. The part I hate is filling in the plot holes and doing the research and line editing. Boring. Time consuming. Oh, and I've done my share of 7- drafts of certain scenes in various wip's in my day.

DL--you so get me. That is exactly right. But when I turn the internet off my laptop, to try and avoid being distracted, then I do the same kind of thing with chores around the house. Anything, ANYTHING to avoid doing what we should do.

Lola Sharp said...

EVERYONE--I'm s glad I'm not alone in Revision Hell, and not the only one to use Procrastinating Techniques.

You "guys"make me feel so much better....less lazy, less naughty.
(naughty with regard to revision avoidance. In all other ways, I'm proud of my naughtiness ;o)

Nice to meet you India!!

Okay, back to EVIL RESEARCH!!

KrysteyBelle said...

I'm procrastinating as I type. I really odn't want to go through and remove every instance of an unneccesary chatacter trait I have carefully woven into the manuscript.

Susan Fields said...

You should put off that revision until your entire house is clean, then come over to my house and clean out the tracks on my sliding doors. Then we'll let you do that annoying research. :(

Cheeseboy said...

I am a procrastinator too. Heck, I procrastinated this comment. Thank goodness I got around to it.

Also, Heather Graham is not attractive to me. I mean, cute, but not attractive. I am probably in the minority on this one though.

Mary Campbell said...

Hi Lola - it's so true. Cleaning and yard become very appealing when I'm stuck in my story. Thank you for visiting my blog and becoming a follower.

Laura Marcella said...

Lola, I have an award for you over at my blog! It's at the end of today's post. :)

Jen said...

Breakfast dessert? When can I come over?!

Happy Monday!!

Anonymous said...

I can so relate! Sometimes I doubt my house would ever get cleaned if I didn't write. :)

Portia said...

Haha, I am the same way. I've been procrastinating quite a bit this week (either burying my head in a book or spending wild amounts of time outdoors so I don't have to think about the messes I've made in the house--or in my manuscript).

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I love your posts! You always make me laugh. It's Tues. so hopefully you got pages and pages of revisions done over the weekend. Or, your house is spotless. :D

Thanks for all the sweet comments on my blog! I always love hearing from you :))

Lola Sharp said...

Nic-- My house is, sadly, spotless.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Oh, man. You know what I did yesterday? Cut down a FREAKIN TREE in my backyard (I'm a city girl who's, like, NEVAH outside). Then I'm all, dude. You'd rather do heavy manual yard labor than tackle that tiresome chapter. A tree, man. A TREE.

Lola Sharp said...

Zoe, I feel you. If only I had a tree needing to be chopped. I'd be all over that. I'm fresh out of chores. Chore-less, I am.

Creative Chronicler said...

Loved this post. You really nailed it. The things we do to justify putting things off. I'm a terrible procrastinator. I have enlisted frineds to give me deadlines on writing projects and even then I find myself doing them at the last minute.

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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